GERMAN-SPEAKING RICHARD SECURES NÜRBURGRING NORDSCHLEIFE WTCR WILDCARD CHANCE
*Former European Touring Car Cup winner lands “absolutely great” opportunity
*He joins DTM champion and fellow guest driver René Rast at favourite track
German-speaking Kris Richard plans to do all he can to turn an “absolutely great” opportunity into a full-time drive in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO.
Richard has been confirmed as the second wildcard for WTCR Race of Germany, which takes place on the track he relishes the most, the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife, from 10-12 May.
DTM champion René Rast will also have wildcard status when he makes his WTCR debut at the Green Hell in an Audi RS 3 LMS.
“This opportunity is absolutely great, especially on this extraordinary track,” said the 23-year-old Richard, the winner of the FIA European Touring Car Cup in 2016. “This is absolutely my favourite race track. I already won there in the ETCC in a TCR car so it’s the perfect opportunity to show my skills to the public and my sponsors and prove I can manage to be in such a highly competitive field of drivers. My goal is absolutely to be in the WTCR full time in 2019 so it could be the most important race of the year for me if I can prove what I can do.”
Richard has form when it comes to excelling on the 25.378-kilometre Nürburgring Nordschleife. He triumphed in the second of two ETCC races at the ‘Ring in 2016 and also took part in the qualification race for the ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen last month in an Audi R8 as a late stand-in.
“It’s my favourite race track because it’s not like any other track, it’s very long, you have a lot of corners, you have uphill sections and downhill sections, so many different challenges,” said Swiss Richard. “It’s a really good track to show your strengths and how you can perform. I consider it to be my home track and Michael Schumacher was absolutely my favourite race driver. I always looked up to him and I really liked his driving style and what he did in the past.”
François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, the WTCR promoter, said: “We have followed Kris’s career since he won the ETCC title in 2016. He did two WTCC races last season, one as his prize drive for winning the ETCC and one because he managed to get the opportunity by finding some sponsorship. Kris won the ETCC round on the Nordscheife and is a very familiar face in VLN events. He came close to a full-season drive in the WTCR this season. The time was too short but we have no doubt what his aim is for next year so we hope that his wildcard entry at the Nürburgring, where he has good knowledge, will help his objective.”
Details of Richard’s car and team will be announced soon.